Aston Manor Brewery is a leading drinks business that owns, markets and distributes a range of cider brands both in the UK and globally.
Still 100 per cent family owned, the company has over 300 acres of orchards and produces a vast range of ciders from high-end premium brands to mass market products.
Aston Manor also handles contract bottling and packaging for the major multiple supermarkets, as well as the leading UK breweries along with several regional brewers from its sites in Birmingham and Devon.
The contract packing production lines run glass and PET bottles while a can line recently installed at the West Country facility has the capacity to fill 72,000 cans per hour.
Because aluminium cans are easily damaged in the supply chain, Aston Manor has added Jayline Products’ unique load cushions to the forklift trucks operating at its Devon site.
The forklifts – electric and diesel-powered models from Linde – transfer palletised loads of canned cider from the canning line to one of two warehouse units where they are block stacked before being loaded – again by forklift – on to trailers for delivery to the distribution centres of Aston Manor’s clients.
"If a single can becomes cracked during the handling process and leaks then the entire load can be spoiled," says Graham Cosslett, factory manager at Aston Manor’s Tiverton plant.
Furthermore, if any leakage is not spotted before a load is put away in the warehouse or on a trailer, liquid would drip down on to the pallets stored below causing further damage.
The Jayline load cushions help eliminate the risk of damage to Aston Manor’s canned products by forming a barrier between the load and the back of the forks as the pallet is picked up.
Simply fitted to the rear face of a forklift truck’s forks, the cushions prevent the load from hitting the truck’s forks or the fork carriage with sufficient force to cause damage to the load.
"Can damage is a significant problem in the drinks industry, so we decided to be proactive and add the load cushions to our forklifts as soon as our canning line became operational," explains Graham Cosslett.
"I am pleased to say that we have not experienced problems with can damage since our can line went live and much of the credit for this must go to the load cushions," he adds.
Available in a choice of sizes to fit 4" (105mm), 5" (130mm), 6" (160mm) and 8" (200mm) forks, the Jayline load cushions are suitable for use with a wide rage of materials handling equipment, including counterbalanced and warehouse trucks.